|Cassandra Daniel and son Elijah|
Daniel was "unemployed and pregnant and struggling to decide whether she could be able to keep her baby or have to give him up for adoption" according to reporter Andrea Castillo of the Portland Oregonian. While browsing at a Portland consignment Shop, Just Between Friends, she met Brooke Unwin, the shop's co-owner (on the right with co-owner Tammy Boren-King). Unwin told a friend about Daniel's plight and the friend donated $200 to Daniel with a note: "God wants you to have this." That gave her hope, Daniel said, and with the money, was able to to buy everything she needed for her child from the shop, which specializes in children's and maternity clothes.
"I tell people all the time that sale changed my life," she told the Oregonian. "I never would have imagined that a consignment sale would have such a big impact on my decision" to keep her child.
This story came to light the other day at the same time a story broke about Mitt Romney babbling on at a $50,000 a plate fund-raising lunch about the 47 percent of the people, as in:
"All right, there are 47 percent who are with him [Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. These are people who pay no income tax."He said what?
It is likely that Cassandra Daniel, of Clackamas, is not paying taxes equal to the amount of deduction say, that the Romneys took for Ann Romney's dressage horse. It is without question that Romney sees women like Daniel one of the dead-beats he dismisses:
"My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."Asked about these comments the next day, Romney did not back down, saying that he stood by his statement, but only that he hadn't said it "elegantly." We won't repeat here what the pundits condemning his statements have said so elegantly, even conservatives such as William Kristol and David Brooks.
We're sure that some who disagree with Romney's denouncement of those who rely on government help as miserable moochers (except of course, bankers and other deserving multi-millionaires), might draw the line at a woman like Daniel. There are those, even liberal Democrats, who would condemn her for getting pregnant while poor--though they wouldn't want to be quoted, many we suspect think that having children should be for those who can more easily afford it. Others would argue that she should have given the baby up for adoption, as having the money to purchase baby paraphernalia is just the tip of the cost of raising a child, estimated in the many thousands of dollars over 18 years. Romney? He almost certainly would urge she give up her baby to adoption, just as he did to a single pregnant Mormon woman in 1983 when he was the bishop of her ward, and that his faith urges for all single women. Other similar stories have since come to our attention.
This argument--that the poor should not raise children--is just a short step to Romney's flat out condemnation of low-income people--the working poor, veterans, students, the elderly, the unemployed who cannot find work, anyone who depends on government help. Yet child welfare experts argue that children should remain with their families of birth if at all possible. We don't need child welfare experts, though, to tell us that as a society, we need to step in when mothers need help to nurture and raise their children. What kind of society have we become if, when a poor woman has a child, our best advice is to give him away? This is a dystopian society of people who have no heart, or the will, to care for the less fortunate among us. This is a society no man or woman should be proud to be a part of. Thanks to Brooke Unwin and the anonymous donor, we're not there yet.
IT'S IN THE SCRIPTURES, MR. ROMNEY
We'd like to remind Romney, who claims to be a man of faith, and others who would take children from poor mothers, of the words of Matthew 25:31-46:
Romney urges single woman to give up her baby--or be outcast from LDS